There’s a rumor that Sony Pictures is looking to acquire the film rights to the upcoming (authorized) Steve Jobs biography (the release date for which has been pushed up from November to October 24). The timing may seem a bit unfortunate, but the book was already nearing completion and had a lot of buzz, given that Jobs was said to be both fully cooperative and also hands-off in terms of controlling the content.
If a movie is made about Jobs and the journey of Apple, could it be the next The Social Network?
A couple of months ago, I rewatched Pirates of Silicon Valley (a made-for-TV TNT movie that came out in 1999), and was struck to how similar it was to The Social Network thematically. Just as The Social Network was loosely based on the book The Accidental Billionaires, Pirates was based on Fire in the Valley, the story of the rise of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Both movies embellish and emphasize the characters’ personal lives in a way that the books don’t – which makes sense, as it makes for better drama. In many ways Pirates seems unflattering toward Jobs (in similar ways to how Social Network is unflattering toward Zuckerberg) – but he did have a sense of humor about it. At the 1999 Macworld Expo, Noah Wyle (who played Jobs in the film) impersonated him at the beginning of his keynote address, interrupted by Jobs who commented that Wyle was “a better me than me.”
MSNBC musing over casting threw out the names Ralph Fiennes and Ashton Kutcher (no, really) to play Jobs. I say that if the situation arises, just go straight for Wyle again – he’s proven he can get into the role, and is older enough now to still look the part.